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Family stunned as pest control officer brings a golf club to tackle rat problem

The i logo The i 19/04/2019 Simon Rushton
George Hilsdon et al. posing for the camera © Provided by Johnston Publishing Ltd

A family who called pest control experts to tackle a rat problem in their kitchen were surprised when a man turned up armed with a golf club.

© Provided by Johnston Publishing Ltd

He tried to whack the rat but only succeeded in wounding and panicking the animal.

Steven Haig called Glasgow City Council to report the rats after his partner, Hazel Grimes, was bitten by a rodent.

The council insisted workers “had a variety of ways” for dealing with rats but the Scottish SPCA said using a golf club was "horrific".

The animal welfare charity said qualified pest control workers had a duty of care to carry out their work humanely.

'Bizarre' approach

The family said the rats had been burrowing through walls and that nests had been found in the back of a kitchen cupboard.

Mr Haig thought it was "bizarre" when the pest control employee brought the golf club into the family’s home.

Rat traps have now been laid in the home of Steven Haig and his partner Hazel Grimes in Glasgow (Photo: SWNS)

“He saw one and hit it twice with the club and it squealed and ran away," he said.

The couple and their three children, aged between seven and 14, left their three-bedroom home after Ms Grimes was bitten by one of the rats.

The mother had been serving up an Indian take-away for the family when the rodent ran across the kitchen floor.

She said: “We were all in the kitchen and I was just about to put out the food when I heard this banging noise.

“I looked down and there was a rat running around the kitchen floor at my feet, it had got out of a cupboard.

"I was hysterical and I shouted at my sister to get all the kids out. It was only the next day I noticed that I had been bitten. I felt really unwell with a sore stomach.”

A duty of care to rats

Contact with rats through bites and scratches or by inhaling faeces can pose a risk of a number of diseases including salmonella, tuberculosis, cryptosporidiosis, E.coli and foot and mouth disease.

Shettleston Housing Association has relocated the family to temporary accommodation until the infestation is cleared.

Scottish SPCA Chief Superintendent Mike Flynn said: “Local authorities are within their rights to control animal populations where public health or safety is concerned and any action to deter animals occupying an area must be humanely carried out by a qualified individual.

“This incident sounds horrific and far from the conduct you would expect from a professional," he added.

A council spokeswoman said: “An experienced pest controller visited the house. They have a variety of ways of dealing with rodents effectively and efficiently.”

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